By Robert O’Reilly
Drogheda United have advanced to the Second Round of the FAI Cup after they defeated Evergreen FC 4-0 at Evergreen Park.
A double from Chris Mulhall, either side of Ryan Masterson’s tidy finish and a first senior goal for Mark Doyle sealed a comfortable passage to the last 16.
Drogheda United manager Pete Mahon made three changes from the side that lost 1-0 to Cork City a week before as Dave Mulcahy was handed his debut while both Adam Wixted and Richie Purdy returned to the starting line-up.
The Drogs took the lead on eight minutes as Chris Mulhall latched onto Conor Kane’s pass before sliding the ball underneath the onrushing Philly Johnston.
Evergreen came close to equalising midway through the first-half when forward Conor English had time and space to shoot but his curling effort cannoned back off the post with Stephen McGuinness beaten.
Drogheda made their superior fitness levels count in the last 20 minutes as they put the game to bed. Substitute Ryan Masterson netted his first goal for the club as he chased down a blocked clearance before cooly lifting the ball over the advancing Johnston.
it was 3-0 just minutes later when Masterson’s powerful strike was parried by the Evergreen goalkeeper leaving Mulhall with the simple task of slotting into the empty net.
United completed the rout with three minutes left to play as substitute Mark Doyle rose highest from a corner-kick to score his first senior goal for the club.
A first win in 15-games comes as a timely confidence booster for United who will be looking to continue their winning ways against Bray Wanderers on Friday.
Evergreen: Philly Johnston; Joe Keohane, Niall Andrews, Dylan Whearty, Sammy Johnston; Robbie Quan, Mikey Drennan; Conor English (Peter Henebry, 85 mins), Chris Whearty (Dean Cornally, 88 mins), Ben Hickey (Ciaran Snype, 70 mins); Sean Barcoe.
Drogheda United: Stephen McGuinness; Stephen Dunne, Dave Mulcahy, Shane Elworthy, Conor Kane; Sean Russell (Mark Doyle, 82 mins), Richie Purdy, Jake Hyland (Ryan McEvoy, 79 mins), Adam Wixted; Jack Bayly (Ryan Masterson, 69 mins), Chris Mulhall.
DroghedaUnited.ie Man of the Match: Chris Mulhall